California's Gold Coast

11 night tour - Starting in San Diego, California - ending in San Francisco, California.

A Tauck World Discovery Tour.

Celebrating 90 years in the travel touring business, Tauck offer the ultimate in luxury touring. Throughout the years, ingenuity and innovation, plus a focus on customer servce and authentic experiences, have grown Tauck into one of the world's leading travel touring companies. On your tour you can expect an itinerary carefully designed to create an unforgetable experience, ensuring the finest hotels, luxury motorcoaches and highly experienced tour directors.

The “Golden State” may refer back to the riches discovered in California in 1848, but the state’s scenic gems extend far beyond the bounds of Gold Rush Country. Tauck’s ultimate California tour is a progressive experience of the state’s coastal treasures, stretching from San Diego to San Francisco. Discover the historic beauty of its 18th-century missions, Los Angeles’ hip Farmers Market, the grace of seaside Santa Barbara, the Central Coast wine region, wildlife in Morro Bay, marine life in Monterey, and the charm of Carmel. Enjoy a champagne dinner cruise on San Diego’s Big Bay, lunch at a restaurant overlooking the Big Sur coastline, a tour of Hearst Castle, a private vineyard tour and wine tasting, and the grandeur of Yosemite. Your journey features stays at The US Grant in San Diego, The Langham Huntington Pasadena, Los Angeles, Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara, The Inn at Morro Bay, InterContinental The Clement Monterey, Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite, and The Westin St. Francis San Francisco on Union Square.


2017 Guaranteed departure dates:
May 11th *
June 01st & 22nd
September 07th & 21st
October 05th & 19th
2018 Guaranteed departure dates:
April 26th
June 07th & 21st
September 13th & 27th
* Small Group Departures – Select small group departures averaging just 24 guests.
View Itinerary Details

Day 1: Arrive in San Diego, a city of blue skies & a majestic coastline

Tauck’s ultimate California tour begins at The US Grant hotel at 5:30 PM. A transfer is included from San Diego International Airport to the US Grant hotel, a sumptuously restored city icon since 1910. Join us in celebrating your arrival in this Southern California mecca of palm trees, Mediterranean weather, miles of beaches and casualness with a reception and a la carte dinner at the hotel.

Lodging: The US Grant


Day 2: A day in San Diego... eclectic city life & unforgettable views

Your day begins with an entertaining and educational city tour, taking in the eclectic Gaslamp Quarter, where a mix of Victorian-era buildings and modern skyscrapers offer cultural, dining and downtown-living options, and the gorgeous harbor area. At Point Loma, where the first European expedition landed on the coast of California in 1542, you’ll find a peninsula known today for luxurious neighborhoods on the Bay side and pounding surf and tide pools on the Pacific Ocean side. Continuing on to the Juan Cabrillo National Monument, you’ll discover a national park offering unforgettable views of both the city’s natural surroundings and skyline. At Seaport Village, the visual pleasures are joined by live music, street artists and dining options, where you’ll have time to explore on your own. Evening kicks off with a champagne reception and dinner aboard a private yacht; enjoy a private cruise of San Diego harbor for Tauck guests only. 

Lodging: The US Grant

Breakfast, Dinner

Day 3: A legendary California mission… and on to Los Angeles’ hot spots

Heading north towards Los Angeles, your first stop is at the restored Mission San Juan Capistrano, a “jewel of the missions,” founded in 1776 by Padre Junipero Serra.  Built as a vast quadrangle of adobe bricks, the mission was self-sufficient – housing provisions, gardens, workrooms and living and dining spaces for priests, local Indian converts and soldiers. Although the Mission’s Great Stone Church tragically collapsed in the earthquake of 1812, the Serra Chapel – containing a gold-leafed retablo carved by Spanish artisans behind the altar – remains, along with the legendary swallows who return to the mission grounds each March from their winter home in Argentina. Time for lunch follows at another legendary L.A. location, the Los Angeles Farmers Market, where fresh produce stands, shops and restaurants have made this a perfect destination for great dining and people watching since 1934. From here, a city tour offers an overview of this diverse metropolis including Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills and in the historic TCL Chinese Theatre, where celebrity autographs, handprints and footprints – even Jimmy Durante’s nose – are immortalized in concrete.

Lodging: The Langham Huntington, Pasadena, Los Angeles

Breakfast, Dinner

Day 4: Los Angeles and beyond... from inspirational “The Getty” to graceful Santa Barbara

A visit to The Getty Museum, set hilltop in the Santa Monica Mountains, brings together the disparate elements of the Los Angeles landscape: ocean, mountains and the urban street grid. Together they were the inspiration for this modernist complex of curvilinear design and natural gardens, designed by architect Richard Meier. Inside, on a self-guided tour, you’ll find easy inspiration in its collections of European paintings, drawings, sculpture and photography – along with the views. From the museum, your California odyssey heads north to Santa Barbara, where Sunday afternoons mean a beachside tradition of eclectic arts and crafts shows, produced strictly by local artists. Enjoy a stroll under the palms and along picturesque Stearns Wharf, where pelicans put on a show of their own, before checking into your resort. Dinner is at leisure in your choice of resort restaurants.

Lodging: Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara

Breakfast, Dinner

Day 5: Savoring Santa Barbara, the “American Riviera”

On a city tour, you’ll get a feel for the quiet Santa Barbara beach community that’s long been a celebrity hideaway, with a stop to tour the city’s still-functioning 1929 Courthouse. The Spanish-Moorish structure is surrounded by lush gardens. Inside you’ll find a Mural Room depicting scenes of the community’s past, masterfully painted by a largely self-taught artist whose illustrations appeared in the novels of Joseph Conrad and Jack London. Next, a visit to the graceful Mission Santa Barbara introduces this city icon – a still-active Franciscan parish after 225 years. After a downtown lunch, you’ll have time to take advantage of your lovely oceanfront resort or perhaps explore Santa Barbara's downtown district.

Lodging: Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara

Breakfast, Lunch

Day 6: Wine country and scenic highway 101

Get ready for scenic delights as you pass through rolling hills on this morning’s road trip along coastal Highway 101. Entering the Central California wine region, you’ll find microclimates where morning fog and ocean breezes encourage varieties such as pinot noir and chardonnay, and others where low-lying mountains are ideal for full-bodied reds – as you’ll learn on a vineyard tour and tasting. Lunch follows at a restaurant overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Pismo Beach, known for long white beaches and ocean views. Near the fishing village of Morro Bay, join our naturalist guide for a walking tour of this rich habitat for birds and wildlife.

Lodging: The Inn at Morro Bay

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Drama, from Hearst Castle to the Big Sur Coastline

Morning begins with a guided walking tour at Hearst Castle, a national and California Historical Landmark in San Simeon. This elaborate estate, created for newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst, takes you back to an era of opulent entertaining – and the fictional paradise of Xanadu, featured in Orson Welles’ film Citizen Kane. Afterward, nature’s opulence impresses as you drive along the famed Big Sur Coast. Breathtaking sights continue as you travel Highway 1, following the drama of the Pacific Coast Highway from hundreds of feet above powerfully crashing surf and magnificently remote, rocky beaches. Continue on to the small coastal city of Monterey, where you’ll dine at leisure at your hotel on pristine Monterey Bay.

Lodging: InterContinental The Clement Monterey

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Cross Prince William Sound by boat, then embark your Princess cruise

Today’s tour of the Monterey Peninsula encompasses the beauty of Pacific Grove, famed 17-Mile Drive and Pebble Beach, before arriving in Carmel by the Sea, called one of the “most romantic cities of the world” by Travel + Leisure. Enjoy time to explore and find an appealing spot for lunch, before heading off to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. The award-winning exhibits at the aquarium will is an amazing learning experience – you'll discover the unexpected delights of marine life, from cuttlefish to whales and other ocean critters.

Lodging: InterContinental The Clement Monterey



Day 9: Through California’s Central Valley to Yosemite

Agriculture takes center stage today as you drive through the farms, orchards and vineyards of California’s expansive Central Valley. Abundant sunshine, superb soil, and year-round growing conditions make this an incredibly important crop-basket for American households, including broccoli, chard, asparagus, pistachios, pomegranate trees and many, many more. From the valley, your route continues on to the oak-lined roadways and Victorian-era towns of porches, storefronts and saloons of Gold Country. In 1848, news of this precious metal spread like wildfire, leading to explosive population growth. First came the men, seeking their fortune in mining; the merchants, bankers and women followed, catering to their needs. At the Mariposa Museum & History Center, you’ll stop to learn about those who shaped this area and witness a reenactment of 19th-century stamp milling – an invaluable tool for early gold miners who needed to extract the precious material from bits of rock. Late afternoon, you’ll arrive at your Sierra resort at the South Gate to Yosemite National Park, where dinner at leisure awaits.   

Lodging: Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Yosemite National Park

Sometimes called a “freak of nature,” Yosemite Valley is only seven miles long and less than a mile wide. Yet contained within its sheer, high walls is an array of astonishing nature: world-famous cliffs like El Capitan and Half Dome; plunging waterfalls like Bridalveil Falls; wildly peaceful meadows, and the meandering Merced River. Get acquainted with these remarkable sights today on a tram tour, accompanied by a national park guide. Following lunch at historic Wawona Village, inside the park, you'll have free time to spend as you please in the Yosemite Valley; options (some at additional cost) include hikes, bicycle rentals, and visits to the Yosemite Valley Museum and the adjacent reconstructed Indian Village of Ahwahnee. A transfer will be provided to those who prefer to return to Tenaya Lodge and enjoy the resort's amenities.

Lodging: Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


Day 11: Visit to historic Jamestown and on to San Francisco

On your way to the incomparable city by the bay, visit Jamestown for lunch at the historic National Hotel built during the height of the Gold Rush period. Our memorable California tour arrives in San Francisco late this afternoon, with time to rest, relax, or explore the landmark area surrounding Union Square. Your hotel is in a vibrant retail and cultural area in the heart of the city – and at your doorstep you’ll discover a favorite city square where you might just see musicians, artists, or speakers doing what they do best. We invite you to join us this evening for a farewell reception and dinner at your hotel.

Lodging: The Westin St. Francis San Francisco on Union Square

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: Journey home or extend your stay

Your California tour with Tauck ends in San Francisco. Fly home anytime. A transfer from The Westin St. Francis San Francisco on Union Square to the San Francisco International Airport is included; you should allow a minimum of two hours for flight check-in.


Your Tauck Tour Highlights

Insider Yosemite stories during filmed narratives from filmmaker Ken Burns
2-night stays in San Diego, Santa Barbara, Monterey & Yosemite National Park 
Private champagne dinner cruise aboard a yacht in San Diego
Walking tour with a naturalist in Morro Bay
Central Coast vineyard tour and wine tasting  
Travel the coastline along the amazing Pacific Coast Highway – one of the world's outstanding drives
A tram tour of Yosemite Valley  
Visits to two 18th-century missions
Overnight stay in the heart of San Francisco at historic Union Square
Airport transfers upon arrival and departure as detailed
26 meals (11 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 9 dinners); service charges, gratuities to local guides, admission fees, taxes and porterage

Your Hotels....

Nights 1 - 2 : The US Grant - San Diego, California

Tauck Guests enjoy complimentary Internet access in guest rooms!

Having first opened its doors in 1910, an elegant, gracious hospitality leader throughout the eras. The US Grant is located in historic, vivacious Gaslamp Quarter, which entices with a dazzling array of dining, shopping, nightlife and entertainment venues. Explore the city's young heritage and learn about early settlers, including Alonzo Horton and Wyatt Earp at the Gaslamp Quarter Historical Foundation. The location of the hotel provides easy access to most venues and attractions in the downtown area, including the Civic Auditorium, Balboa Theatre, Symphony Hall, and the San Diego Convention Center. The US Grant features a $6.5 million collection of distinctive artwork, including stunning sculptures, ironwork, murals and paintings. Created by carefully selected, world-renowned artists from European, American and Native American backgrounds, the artwork heralds the storied past and modern renaissance of this cultural landmark. Guest rooms feature nine-foot ceilings with crown molding along with commissioned French and Native American Indian art. Behind the bed, reflecting our guest room's unique combination of classic and contemporary, is a figurative drip-painting headboard by the artist Yves Clement. Contemporary art and Empire-style furnishings appear throughout include a standing mirror that complements the cream walls and classic molding. In addition to the captivating décor, top-of-the-line technology, including a 32-inch flat screen television, keeps guests entertained. Comfort begins with the Luxury Collection bed and is enhanced with Italian linens, plush down comforter, robe and slippers. In the bathroom, basin sinks reside alongside Remede brand bath amenities and glass enclosed marble shower. Dining is innovative, and the Spa Suite offers an oasis in the city.

Night 3 : The Langham Huntington, Pasadena, Los Angeles - Pasadena, California

Tauck Guests enjoy complimentary Internet access in guest rooms!

The Langham Huntington, Pasadena, Los Angeles is an oasis of gracious serenity, embracing treasured traditions of service and luxury that were hallmarks of the original Langham Hotel opened in Europe in 1865. Blending the timeless elegance of days gone by with 21st-century amenities, guest rooms offer opulent Frette linens, two-line telephone, flat-screen TV, a well-stocked honor bar and an Italian marble bathroom with Chuan Spa bath amenities. The Huntington Spa, voted one of the Top 10 Spas in America by the readers of Travel + Leisure, features a fully equipped fitness center as well as unique therapies and treatments to pamper the body and soothe the soul. Enjoy a cocktail beside the expansive outdoor swimming pool or take advantage of three lighted tennis courts. The Dining Room, the only hotel-run restaurant in Los Angeles with a Michelin Star, delights with superb cuisine and gracious service. Casual dining in refined surroundings is available at The Terrace, featuring a California-Bistro style menu full of French-inspired comfort food. Choose from a wide variety of cocktails in the cosmopolitan-watering-hole atmosphere of The Bar.

Nights 4 - 5 : Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara - Santa Barbara, California

Tauck Guests enjoy complimentary Internet access in guest rooms!

Set on the California coast between the Pacific Ocean and the Santa Ynez Mountains, the Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara extends a warm welcome amidst the kind of scenic beauty for which this area of the California coast is well known. With views of the lush gardens or the beautiful courtyard, guest rooms, decorated with rich greens and gold, feature such welcome amenities as down duvets and pillows, thick terry bathrobes, a CD and a DVD player, in-room safe and a minibar. During leisure hours, avail yourself of the resort jungle swimming pool or the spacious Fitness Center located just off the main promenade at the Coral Casino, or play a set or two on one of three tennis courts all lit for nighttime play. Or, perhaps, surrender yourself to some personal indulgence at the Spa. Distinctive dining is a hallmark of Four Seasons Resorts and you’ll discover why at Bella Vista showcasing Italian-inspired California coastal cuisine surrounded by fireplaces, rich mahogany and rare marble and views of the sea; at Tydes overlooking Butterfly Beach and serving seasonally inspired menus using the area’s bounty of local, sustainable ingredients; and the Coral Café and Bar located in the Coral Casino Beach and Cabana Club and offering up an all-day menu of grill items, salads and sandwiches. The Ty Lounge, with its living-room setting and outdoor terrace is known for specialty drinks and classic cocktails.

Night 6 : The Inn at Morro Bay - Morro Bay, California

Tauck Guests enjoy complimentary Internet access in guest rooms!

The Inn at Morro Bay is ideally located on California’s Central Coast, halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles. Nestled on 4,000 acres just inside Morro Bay State Park, and a stone’s throw from Morro Bay Golf Course, the inn offers visitors a true coastal hideaway of unsurpassed natural beauty. Enjoy life in the slow lane, as you relax on the waterfront, watching boats glide by. Newly renovated in California Contemporary décor, the guest rooms are situated to let the sounds of nature lull you to sleep. And if that’s not relaxing enough, the inn’s onsite spa offers treatments and massages for pampering and renewal. Be sure to take in the picturesque views at sunrise or sunset from 60 State Park, the in-house restaurant where California wine and food are blissfully married. 

Nights 7 - 8 : InterContinental The Clement Monterey - Monterey, California

Tauck Guests enjoy complimentary Internet access in guest rooms!

Set next to the Monterey Bay Aquarium in the heart of John Steinbeck’s world-famous Cannery Row, the InterContinental The Clement Monterey is a fresh new face on Monterey Bay. Spacious guest rooms welcome with a marble bathroom with a soaking tub, separate shower and bathrobes, 37” plasma TV with a media center, in-room movies, and iPod dock, coffee maker, iron and ironing board and minibar. In addition to state-of-the-art LifeFitness equipment and cardio theater displays, you’ll enjoy views of the outdoor swimming pool, which is another great place to work the kinks out after a busy day. If serenity is more your thing, the Energia Spa is the place for you. The C Restaurant caters to just about any palate with fresh seafood, premium meats and locally grown organic produce with a wonderful views of Monterey Bay from the outdoor patio… or, take advantage of C Food to Go to enjoy your feast elsewhere at breakfast and lunch. Watch the waves roll in as you savor your favorite libation, perhaps with appetizers and small plates, at the Pacific View Courtyard.

Nights 9 - 10 : Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite - Fish Camp, California

Tauck Guests enjoy complimentary Internet access in guest rooms!

Set in an evergreen forest just two miles from Yosemite National Park’s southern gate, the Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite is the perfect place for a comfortable and fun stay. Lovely guest rooms feature individual climate control, comfy down bedding, coffee maker, iron and ironing board, remote control cable TV, and in-room safe. Fun things for all ages to do here (some at additional cost) include a climbing wall, horseback riding, an arcade with video games, pinball machines and a pool table, hiking, mountain biking, fishing, indoor and outdoor swimming pools and the Spa. Jackalope’s Bar and Grill has great burgers, sandwiches and pizzas, or pick up a picnic lunch at the Parkside Deli.

Night 11 : The Westin St. Francis San Francisco on Union Square - San Francisco, California

Tauck Guests enjoy complimentary Internet access in guest rooms!

Reigning over Union Square from a landmark location in the heart of the city for over a century, The Westin St. Francis San Francisco on Union Square welcomes guests with an ambiance of elegance, charm and grace. Marble columns, ornate balconies and impressive woodwork harken back to the genteel world of yesteryear while 21st-century amenities ensure an enjoyable stay, to include Westin’s signature Heavenly Beds and Heavenly Shower. Keep up with your exercise routine in the urban sanctuary of the WestinWORKOUT with an array of fitness equipment or treat yourself to a pampering treatment at the Spa. In a city renowned for culinary delights, this hotel sets the standard with the MICHAEL MINA Restaurant, The Oak Room Restaurant & Lounge and Caruso’s. Sip a creatively handcrafted cocktail and sample gourmet finger food at the Clock Bar, created by Michelin chef Michael Mina.

Tour Only Cost: All prices quoted below are per adult person, per tour in British Pounds (GBP)

Departure Dates

Single Twin/Double Triple Quad
Small group departures: 11th May 2017 £5380 £4200 £3867 Please call us
All other departures in 2017 £4980 £3736 £3418 Please call us
All departures in 2018 Please call us Please call us Please call us Please call us

Special Solo Traveller Savings – save up to £160 off the single room price on select departure dates – Please call us for more details. 

* Small Group Departures – Select small group departures are available for certain departures, averaging just 24 guests – Please see tour costs above for dates and prices.

Note: Triples are accommodated at most hotels in either two beds or a king bed plus a rollaway; due to fire codes, rooms are restricted to two beds.

Not included in your tour cost:
Flights – we can package your tour with flights at very competitive airfares using our airline partners. Please call us to discuss the best airline for your itinerary.
Pre or post accommodation - If you want to extend your stay at the start or the end of your escorted tour or add another destination to your booking please call us and we will be happy to provide a quote.
Meals, other than those listed in the itinerary.
The customary gratuities for the Tour Director and local drivers are not included.
There are many questions and considerations you might have when planning an escorted tour with Tauck. For more information please click here.
To book your travel arrangements:
Please call us on Freephone 0800 0336 335, We are open 7 days a week.
We will be happy to check the availability of your tour, offer a quote for flights and any pre or post nights you would like to add.
When you are ready to go ahead with the booking, we would require a non-refundable deposit of 20% or the full balance if you are due to travel within 8 weeks.